Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free and Low Fat
Guess what the temperature is. Just guess. It’s 31C! That’s 90F! Not that hot you protest? It’s only ten in the morning! Bluuugh. All I want to do today is join my dog lying down on the cool tiles, occasionally dipping my entire head and feet mournfully into my water bowl. Well I might leave the water bowl to him, but he is making it look so tempting.
Having a desserts blog and living in Australia can make you feel very out of sync at times, especially at the change of seasons. Every picture in my blog roll is full of pumpkin spice cakes and fruit hand pies and donuts. People! What is with all the donuts! Five minutes ago you couldn’t turn around without being assaulted with a photo of a popsicle stick and now it seems deep-fried sugar encrusted cake is taking over the world? Well when I put it like that, it makes sense. It makes a lot of donutty sense actually. I keep picturing Homer Simpson drooling and saying “Mmmmm dooonuuuts”.
Today was meant to be my first mango recipe of the summer. (My first mango recipe ever!) It was going to be a refreshing sorbet perfect for this stinky weather but…I ate all the mangos. Mangos are just one of those fruits that don’t need to be messed with to taste better. They’re not like apples, which literally transform when you bake them. They’re an entire meal in themselves. I feel bad even adding yogurt to cut up mango at breakfast time if it’s perfectly ripe and juicy. So I ate them all! And I’m sorry. I promise mango will soon adorn these walls very soon.
Instead the banana war continues. I mentioned recently the overload of bananas filling the freezer, numbered at the moment around twenty. That’s right. It’s gone up. Banana makes a great instant sorbet as lots of people know, especially if you add cocoa powder or chocolate chips! But I’ve never tried it in a frozen yogurt recipe before.
To bring out the banana flavour and give some depth to the frozen yogurt I added some cinnamon and vanilla extract, as well as a scoop of honey. I wasn’t expecting much, not even enough to post about. You can’t really bake frozen bananas so I couldn’t caramelise them or anything fancy to ramp up the flavour.
But I was so wrong. One bite of this and I realised I should never underestimate the power of the banana again. It’s so creamy! Please, don’t be tempted to ruin this with super fat reduced yogurt, save that for your smoothies and instant banana froyo! Low fat yogurt freezes as hard as a rock and tastes bland as well. I’ve talked about it when I made berry and honey frozen yogurt, and also lemon curd frozen yogurt. You can use 2%, just take it out of the freezer before you want to eat it and let it soften. Or eat it within two hours of putting it in the freezer.
The best yogurt to use though is full fat natural yogurt. I really hate the way homemade ice creams and sorbets freeze so much harder than store-bought. I made a chocolate ice cream last week that was so amazingly soft even straight from the freezer because of a rich and silky custard base. But sorbets can be quite tricky!
I did some research this week and discovered that most store-bought ice creams and sorbets contain anti-freeze to keep them soft. Oh my gosh. It’s “green” antifreeze which is apparently ok for animals and humans, but seeing as no research has confirmed that yet…I think I’ll stick to homemade from now on. I did discover something hopeful though! On the back of the best mango sorbet tub ever the ingredients listed were water, sugar, fruit, the usual subjects, and…glucose syrup! None of the other ingredients looked like they might be there as a softener, could glucose syrup be the answer we’ve been looking for?!?!? This summer we will find out.
You can add more or less honey depending on your preferences with this recipe. Use spotty bananas that are fully ripe, but not those blackening bananas that should be saved for breads and muffins. If the bananas are too ripe their flavour will be really overpowering. Similar with the yogurt, try to find one with a medium flavour rather than super strong and tangy. Bananas actually have a tangy note to them if you’ve ever noticed and the yogurt can accentuate it in a strange way.
Banana, Vanilla and Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt:
500g (1 pound, 17.5 ounces, 2 cups) natural yogurt
300g (2-3 medium, 1 cup blended) bananas, frozen or fresh
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Blend the bananas with the honey, vanilla and cinnamon until completely pureed. Slowly add in the yogurt, blending until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for as long as possible. Overnight is ideal. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions.
For no ice cream maker, never fear! Pour the mixture straight into the tub and put in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, take out and stir completely with a fork, breaking up any clumps. Do this until completely frozen. You can also do this by blending it a few times during the freezing process. For instant ice cream love, you can freeze it until just solid and eat it when it’s still creamy.